‘What is the best powered gate system design?’ One that most suits the owner’s cosmetic requirements, but only after it meets the needs & abuses of the environment and its location within it. Also, the system’s method of use and type or number of users. A system design that is ultimately reliable & safe in use, both powered and under manual operation.

A system that can withstand a reasonable level of misuse or abuse and is engineered to last, be economic to repair and when required, most cost effective to overhaul and reasonable to maintain.

‘How and where do we start?’ By identifying all the needs of the whole installation and ensuring all parts work and complement each other as well as can be expected.

Having a clear list of needs, the installation is expected to deliver, that are prioritised with the most important at the top. Often one goal or requirement can conflict with another, or influence others accordingly and it is best to understand these beforehand.

Planning for the future can be equally as important. Everybody’s life changes and properties are worked upon almost everywhere. What are the most likely changes that could impact upon the finished system and can any allowance be made for these in advance?

Are the surroundings likely to change? Such as local landscaping or work on the highway, new bus routes, traffic type & levels, even a change in the way the area is used, could impact on the system and its users or owners.

The performance of an installation under all weather conditions, often dictates what is the best the gate and its support structures are made from and how they are constructed.

Water levels below ground, exposure to wind, likelihood of vehicular impact and easy access are common areas of greater consideration. Also, the location of each piece of equipment can have a huge baring upon reliability as well as suitability and user experience, all should be considered.

Good design, executed correctly with quality engineering, lasts and performs better.